Archives for November, 2006

Scientist Laureate

Great minds think alike, I guess. Like Razib and Stranger Fruit, my answer to this week’s Ask a ScienceBlogger ? “Who would you nominate for Scientist Laureate, if such a position existed?” ? was going to be E. O. Wilson. His work on conservation alone would justify that status, if such a thing existed. His…

Ryun dissects election defeat: Ryun, of Lawrence, said his campaign volunteers were lulled into a false sense of confidence because he easily defeated Boyda in 2004. “It was difficult to get them engaged because they said, ‘Well, you won by 15 points last time.’ ” Ryun said. “I want to say this, I knew from…

In August we heard reports of a new island emerging from the Pacific Ocean. A boat tried to investigate, but its engine got clogged by pumice floating away from the volcano. At long last, we have art to show what a baby island looks like. In the image reproduced here, you can see the top…

Presidential wannabe McCain took a swing at the White House and the leadership of NOAA: “They’re simply not complying with the law. It’s incredible.” Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) raised eyebrows yesterday with that comment regarding the Bush administration, made before a crowd of several hundred at a Washington, D.C. event. At issue is a report…

Cognitive science of IDolatry

Chris of Mixing Memory points out this paper by Lombrozo, Shtulman and Weisberg: “The Intelligent Design controversy: lessons from psychology and education.” The findings are not surprising to me, but I think they raise some essential points about the nature of the fight. Numerous studies have shown that students hold highly systematic misconceptions about evolution.…

Mrs. Morris goes to Washington

The Capitol-Journal complains that Connie Morris is Off again: Morris, who was defeated in the primary during her bid for re-election to the Kansas State Board of Education, repeated this week her intentions of having taxpayers pick up the bill for two out-of-state trips to education conferences during the final months of her tenure. One…

HHS: What is “scientific accuracy”?

TPMmuckraker reports: According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), HHS last year spent $153 million on abstinence education programs? Set aside the issue of whether they do any good. GAO tried to see if they did any harm, and concluded they did: Some of the abstinence programs are telling kids stuff that just isn’t true.…

Hoyer is the new Majority Leader

By a large margin, Steny Hoyer was chosen to lead the new Democratic Majority. Hoyer is a moderate Democrat who isn’t tainted by ethics questions. Murtha would have been a very conservative voice (he sponsors flag burning amendments and is aggressively anti-abortion), and his status as an unindicted co-conspirator in ABSCAM would have put a…

Science education disparities

Most Students in Big Cities Lag Badly in Basic Science, and the reason seems largely based on economics and race: while Atlanta was below the median in the ranking of urban performance, its white fourth graders not only did better on the exam than did 86 percent of fourth graders across the country but also…

Simple answers to simple questions

Pim van Meurs asks: Is there anything redeeming to Intelligent Design? No. This has been another edition of simple answers to simple questions.